Xingyiquan Five Elements
The following is translated from the original Chinese. If you prefer to view the original, you may do so in the Chinese section of our site. We welcome your comments and suggestions on improvements to the translation. Comments on the original Chinese may be emailed to Prof. Liu at yzliu at wudang.com.
The principles of the five elements changes, the key central point of yin and yang change, with the secrets of rising and falling, entering and leaving, movement and stillness, empty and solid, in martial arts are all refined and concealed all on the inside. Master Ji was able to comprehend the body’s strength after passing through 10 years of meticulous and dedicated research and study, he achieved mastery of it’s theory and fundamentals, knowing well it’s form and a great number of techniques, then putting his name on it and making it into one school.
Now, the three big divisions and recognized independent schools are the special styles from Shanxi, Henan, and Hebei. The body of xingyiquan practice includes the Five Elements Boxing and the Twelve Animals Forms, and the use of chop (zhan), cut (jie), wrap (guo), step across (kua), rise (tiao), go against/stick (ding), lead (ling), and cloud (yun), called the eight methods.
In practice skills all parts and places of the body have a natural sequence. In the entering skill step, first use clear strength, then use closing strength, and finally dissolving strength. Devote one’s efforts to causing the qi force to reach into the four limbs.
During practice the requirements are: Sink the shoulders, drop the elbows, sink the qi, stick the tongue, keep the eyes level and the teeth closed. Follow and abide by: stick (ding), close (kou), circle (yuan), agile (min), sink (chui), hold (bao), round (yue) and straight (ting) these eight names and 24 methods.
Connecting the hands with the feet, elbows with the knees, shoulders with the hips, heart with the mind, mind with the breath, breath with the strength inside and outside is the theory of the six connections. It includes: 7 fists, 8 requirements, 2 overall connections, 3 fierce attacks, 5 deadly forces, 6 sudden ferocities, 6 directions, 8 names, 10 eyes, 13 frames, 14 fist methods, 16 practice methods, 91 fists, and 103 grabs.
Also, important are “stand like a post” and “deep root.” Without standing like a post, the strength of the foundation is insufficient, only with a deep root can one move and change smoothly.